Muslim solidarity overdue

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Hamza Malick

So much has been written and read in newspapers in the last many months concerning Palestine-Israel conflict. Many scholars,authors,academics and historians perspicuously expressed their standpoints and proposed an armistice between these two warring states as early as possible. I am requested by my bosom friends and students to delineate my thoughts and emotions on this pressing issue lucidly. I have also tried to bring some other facts and figures which are instructive and related to this issue sifted after hours of meticulous hard work.Here it is.
The war between Hamas and Israel started on fateful October 7,when Palestinians militant group in an unprecedented move struck Israel. Such a response was the boutade of the simmering anger of the decades-old ethnic cleansing against Israel by the Hamas combatants they had been harbouring against it. Initially stunned by the audacity of the Hamas, Israel retaliated incandescently and unleashed its barbarity on Hamas with the intention to erasure the population of Palestine.
Houses,schools,hospitals and other structures have been reduced to rubble,thus making their lives more miserable.
Condemnations poured in all for Palestine against Israel when videos of bloodletting,bloodcurdling and blood-soaked bodies of Palestinians circulated on social media by the Muslim countries in particular and the rest of the world in general. Millions of people came out on the roads in their respective countries and protested against Israel and strived to tighten the screws on it to bring an end to this genocidal war against Palestine in the name of so-called self-defence. But these protests fizzled out in many countries. Pakistan is one of them.
Till date,more than thirty three thousand Palestinians have been put to sleep sempiternally, a large number of them were innocent toddlers,infants,children and women. More than hundred journalists and media workers who were embedded under the protection of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), ventured their lives for the live coverage to keep people of the world informed about the war in Gaza,also died in the line of their duties. Savage Israel showed no mercy to anyone. It blatantly infringed the humanitarian law and killed the innocent reporters as they were showing the world the real truth different from what was being projected through social media by the western world.
Three steps have been taken in this regard by Muslim countries to exert pressure on Israel to end the one-sided war. First,they have severed diplomatic relations with Israel like Turkey,Bahrain etc. Second,they have boycotted Israeli products. Third,Pro-Palestine protests have been taken out to demonstrate solidarity with them globally. Words don’t make a difference but solid actions do. Here all the words uttered and steps taken by the Muslim countries failed to make an impact on Israel in ceasing this overdue one-sided conflict.
The Palestine-Israel conflict is a complex issue. One land, two claimants; Jews and Palestinians. Both invoke history to reinforce their claim to the land. The genesis of the cause of the conflict rooted in the decision of the British in 1917, called Balfour Declaration,to settle the Jews of Europe in Palestine. Once a large number of Jews had come to this land,they booted out the Arab population from their habitat on which they and their ancestors have been living over a millennia,the British took the matter to UN in 1947,where it was decided to carve up the state into two parts,Palestine and Israel. The Jews never accepted the verdict and foisted the apartheid-like occupation on the helpless Palestinians.
Even the piercing cries of the Palestinians could not prick the conscience of the cynical Muslim world hardened by the selfish interests to become involved in this matter tenaciously and halt the conflict. Almost it took six months for the UN Security Council to pouch an immediate ceasefire but the situation is not improving and the killings of the Palestinians continue with no let-up.
How agonizing it must be for the parents to see their children succumbing to blood-soaked painful injuries and yet destitute of emergency healthcare facilities? How excruciating would it be for the people to see limbs of the dead bodies scattered on the ground? Those who spare no opportunity on lecturing the world about protecting humanity and urge others to conform to International Humanitarian Laws are themselves perpetrating the same crime time and again. Such duplicitous attitude by the West must be renounced summarily.
In today’s world,Muslim unity is like a body destitute of bones which strengthen its whole structure. When the bones are not there to support the body,the strength of unity becomes ineffective. This is what is happening with the Muslims.
On one side,there are more than fifty countries in the world wherein the majority of Muslims resides and they make up a population of over 2 billion people with the second largest religion. On the flip side,there is Israel with a population of over 9 million and America with a population of over 340 million. Some Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia,Abu Dhabi and Kuwait are to such an extent powerful that if they refuse oil supply to Israel and America,the wheels of these two countries will come to a halt.
Pakistan,despite being a nuclear power and having regional clout has not played its due role the way it should have done. Why Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran are paying lip service to a peace-settlement? This point establishes the fact that Muslims are bereft of unity. The silence of the Saudia Arabia,UAE and Pakistan is worrisome and it seems strategic interests have taken precedence over Palestinians’ lives. Why Saudia Arabia,Kuwait and UAE are so helpless before Israel and America despite having oil reserves and regional clout desired by these two countries to dominate them?
To cut a long story short,we all have read and heard the story ‘The Old Man and his three sons’ with the moral ‘Union is Strength’ many times. As someone has rightly said,’If there is a unity among the birds,they can easily skin the lion.’Here lion is the symbol of bravery and the birds represent unity. Birds have no comparison with the lion in strength but unity gives them the real power to overpower him. Therefore,the deliverance of all the Muslims of the world lies in solidarity.Unless they get united,the enemy will keep killing them separately. The time of being united has come before it is too late.

The writer is a columnist and academic. His bailiwick includes domestic issues and International affairs. He can be contacted at hamza.malick0341@gmail.com.